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the tree of death stood, there was also placed the tree of life. The symbol of salvation stood by the symbol of perdition. So that, before Adam had incurred the penalty attached to his "transgression," the means for rescuing him from that penalty were already prepared. From this evidence alone we might infer, that the scheme of Christianity was planned before the necessity of it became apparent to man; but we have further evidence which proves that such an inference is correct: GoD is said to have chosen us in Christ "before the foundation of the world*;" redemption through "the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot," "was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times i;" He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." This is "the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in GoD, who created all things by Jesus Christ, to the intent, that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of GOD, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." This " mystery is the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world, unto our
πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου.
" Eph. i. 4.
i 1 Peter, i. 18-20.
* Rev. xiii. 8.
Eph. iii. 9, 11.
glory";""the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the Prophets";" it is "the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself"." "God hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began P*." We stand "in hope of eternal life, which GOD, that cannot lie, promised before the world began*." The mystery of redemption by the blood of Christ was, then, "the eternal purpose" of the GODHEAD, purposed before ages began, before the world was. Christianity, then, was not only co-eval with "the first man Adam," but it was established "before the foundation of the world." Salvation was "from the beginning" laid " in Christ Jesus our Lord;"" by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist; and He is the head of the body, the church; who is the begin
ning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence. For it pleased [the Father] that in Him should all fulness dwell. And (having made peace through the blood of His cross), by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, whether things. in earth, or things in heaven "."
Christ, then, created, not only this world, but also "all things that are in heaven," whether" visible or invisible." He made the worlds; "all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was madet." And it was "the eternal purpose" of the GODHEAD, that, "in the dispensation of the fulness of time, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven [the heavens] and which are on earth ";"
by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, whether things in earth, or things in heaven"." "The manifold wisdom of GOD, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord," was to be made known "unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places" by the revelation of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ. "By the blood of His cross" all things in heaven, as
well as in earth, were to be reconciled unto the Deity"; "wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth","" of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named "."
Thus it appears, that "all things in heaven," all "principalities and powers in heavenly places," were to obtain reconciliation" by the blood of the cross" of Christ; not only all things in earth were to obtain peace through His crucifixion, but all other created things were to be reconciled through the same means. Christ, then, is the Saviour of all those things which He made; and in Him "all things," "both which are in heaven and which are on earth," are to be gathered together in one, and to constitute one family. Thus Christ declared, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd e."
The mysterious scheme of Christianity, then, embraces the whole universe; all created things,
whether" visible or invisible," are included in the covenant of the cross of Christ. And, when this scheme is fulfilled, then shall come "the day of the Lord-in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up; the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat f;" and there shall be "new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." When that scheme which embraces all things in heaven and in earth is fulfilled, "heaven and earth shall pass away." The existence of the heavens and of the earth, then, is limited and fixed by the Christian scheme of redemption. Christ, who created all things, shall, when that scheme of salvation which he hath ratified is fully completed, come with all the mighty angels, and all the things which He created shall be dissolved. So that the heavens and the earth, which were made after the scheme of Christianity had been "purposed," shall, when that scheme receives its final completion,
pass away," and "be dissolved," and "shall not be remembered nor come to mind."
f 2 Peter, iii. 10, 12.
h Matt. xxiv. 35. Psalm cii. 26.